There are no two bigger little words that warm the hearts of sports fans in Arizona once March rolls around than: Play Ball!
Perhaps it’s only fitting that AZ Big Media’s inaugural partnership with the Cactus League is this publication, which is being distributed to the various “Fan Fests” in the home cities of Cactus League teams and will be available at the Valley’s 10 spring venues. Within these pages you will find historical tidbits about the 15 teams that make Arizona their spring training home — since the Giants and Indians became the league’s founding franchises in 1947, 10 teams have returned to the Cactus League as World Series champions — plus all the pertinent stadium information you will need on game day. We even added a bit of stadium trivia: Name the Hall of Famer who was the first player to hit a home run in a spring training game at Phoenix Municipal Stadium? (Answer on page 22)
Play Ball also features the complete, 2012 daily Cactus League schedule and a Valley map showing where to find the 10 venues.
Lending AZ Big Media an assist is traveling baseball writer Charlie Vascellaro, who has written about the Cactus League since his high school days in Mesa and Scottsdale. Charlie, who now lives in Maryland, resided in the Valley for 20 years and graduated from Arizona State University. Besides writing the historical team items, Charlie authored a touching tribute to Robert Brinton, former Cactus League president and 20-year member of its board of directors, who died unexpectedly on Oct. 21, 2011.
So … without further ado … Play Ball!
Peter Madrid, Editor